On Saturday at UFC 143: Diaz vs. Condit, Nick Diaz lost one of the only kind of fights he's seemingly capable of losing at this point in his career. Not to lessen Stockton's own brawler to any degree, but his opponents of the last couple years have fought the exact kind of fight that Diaz wanted them to. And that's by design. Diaz is a thin, lanky guy with a chip on his shoulder, and his modus operandi is to take that chip and beat you over the face with it with a steady diet of mean mugging, trash talking and over 9000 70% power punches.
The result? People stand in front of him, tee off and hope that they're the proverbial straw that break's the back of .. his ... chin. That didn't quite come out right, but everyone and their mother seems to think they can test Diaz's chin and finally be the ones to prevail. Oh sure, Paul Daley came really close to doing it when he dropped Diaz on his face, and he hits harder than just about anybody at 170 pounds. So why fall into it?
Aside from wrestling Diaz, something you can only do at this point if you can also avoid submissions, the fight that Carlos Condit fought on Saturday was the best thing he could have done. While Diaz fans will say that he ran, this was nothing of the sort. Condit refused to stand and brawl, and he refused to be bullied into a clinch against the cage. Condit didn't flee across the cage, he circled away from from being backed into the various octagon walls.
And as he circled, he landed strikes. When Diaz realized that was happening, he tried taunting, and Condit refused to fall for it and make costly mistakes. He fought a very smart, calculated fight and still fought to a decision that can be debated to an extent. If they fought again on Sunday, you'd see scores of people picking Diaz, because that's how good he is.
Let's just hope he's not going to retire as he threatened in the post-fight interview, because he has too much to offer this sport, even if his assertions about running and delusions that all of his opponents should stand and trade with him are misplaced.